Thursday, May 28, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 24): Famous Person Puzzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 24): Famous Person Puzzle:
Q: Think of a famous person whose first and last names both have seven letters. Only two different consonants appear in this full name, each used more than once. Out of the 14 letters in the name, 13 of them appear in the first half of the alphabet, A-M. Who is this person?
I'm so sorry guys... I dropped the ball on getting the puzzle posted on Sunday. For anyone that wants some hints, look to the comments in the prior puzzle post. I must admit that my initial attempts to figure this puzzle out were hampered by my method. I had a list of common first names pulled from census data and I filtered them by the rules above (no more than 2 consonants, vowels "aei" with possibly one extra from the set "ou"). It came up with mostly female names like Cecilia and Lucille. I now see why my method was doomed to fail.

Edit: I said I "dropped the ball" which was a reference to the story of Galileo dropping two objects of different mass from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa as an experiment to disprove Aristotle's theory that objects fall at a speed relative to their mass. The story is probably apocryphal, but should have been a clue to Galileo. The other hint implied that the name was not one you would find in a list of common names...
A: GALILEO GALILEI

37 comments:

  1. Hi everyone. I've been following this community for a while, and reckon that it's time to start delurking.

    Here are a few names which satisfy the first requirement but not the second. Maybe they'll put you in the correct reference frame:

    Auraria Georgia
    Cennino Cennini
    Eduardo Iradier
    Ferrari Ferrara
    Massimo Massimi

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  2. I wish people would start debugging me with words like "delurking." ;)

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  3. I had trouble scoping out this puzzle,, but now I realize this person should be known universally ...

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  4. Wolftone, welcome to the community and thanks for introducing yourself. Great clue! I got the answer as soon as I read it. Gracie, amico.

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  5. I was ready for a swim in our large fresh water lake, but the weather turned cooler with rain showers. At least it was warm and sunny over Memorial Day weekend.

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  6. At first I found this puzzle very very frightening to me. But afterwards, I'd figure it's magnifico!

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  7. It's raining again here in
    Missouri. Thunderbolts and lightning!

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  8. Now that many of you have the answer, maybe you'll be able to make sense of my television show reference from the other day...

    Especially since said television show is getting mentioned more lately than it has for a while, with the recent release of a related film.

    The title of the episode in question is reminiscent of an early John Sayles film.

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  9. It was so clear here in Chicago last night, I was able to see Jupiter's moons.

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  10. Hey Ben, Jupiter revolves around the Earth. All stellar structures do. Yes, that's the truth. Do you understand that, Benjamino?

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  11. Davejtaylor, your clue worked for me...I won't be entering as we're on vacation for a few days starting Thursday.

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  12. Carl, your clue was way to warped for me...

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  13. I believe Bertolt Brecht knew this person intimately.

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  14. Kip, let's hope Brecht used his writing acumen to make the person a round character, not a flat one.

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  15. Welcome, wolftone. I lurked for awhile before ringing in, also. I find it ironic that the person in this week's answer has a sign of the zodiac embedded in his first name.

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  16. Good Heavens! All these fancy clues.....

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  17. "shall i say-o" that i finally got this one?
    a "pal o me" figured this one out.

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  18. Great clues everyone, THANK YOU!
    Answer submitted.

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  19. Kasey Kasem says "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."

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  20. These comments pretty much give it away.
    Aren't these comments moderated for that?

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  21. I thought the clues this week were a little too revealing. I've noticed this time and a few times in the recent past that people unthinkingly revealed the gender of an individual when it's not stated in the clues provided by W. S. I think (for what my opinion is worth) people should be a little more cryptic; the idea, it seems to me, should be to offer little nudges toward the answers... not to hire a plane to drag a banner across the sky with a message of THE ANSWER IS.....

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  22. I could turn on comment moderation and check every post prior to it going up on the blog, but I don't have the energy/time to do that and it would slow down the conversation that I enjoy seeing here. Instead I rely on self-moderation and it usually works.

    I also felt that many comments this week were too revealing, but it was too late to do anything. Partly that was my fault because I was busy over the 3 day weekend and didn't put up the puzzle right away. I also didn't put up my standard reminder to not give the puzzle away.

    It's a little late this week, but everyone, please try to keep that in mind for future weeks' comments.

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  23. Carl and Blaine, I agree with you. The first few clues were pretty vague, but the clues at the end pretty much give it away, especially if you're a music buff.

    Blaine, I really appreciate the work you do to maintain this blog. I feel fortunate to have discovered it a few months ago and certainly don't expect you to be a 24/7 monitor. Keep up the great work!

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  24. I was on the trail of a trampy actor so the clues here didn't give it away for me. Took me a while because I'm not accustomed to using this person's surname.

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  25. Thanks ever, too, Blaine.

    I echo others' kudos.

    Blue

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  26. Blue, I'm not sure I'd so readily admit to echoing others' kudos; I'll get back to you after I consult a dictionary...

    Blaine, much thanks for what you do and for a place to meet folks as divergent as myself.

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  27. MyLittleFamily- My post regarding our large fresh water lake was a clue for large(st) fresh water lake especially a sea in the middle east. The name fits right in with this persons 1st and last name...And since it's after the deadline...

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  28. The answer is posted above. If anyone got stuck, it was probably from thinking too much about famous people of the present.

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  29. I was stuck on Charlie Chaplin and have no recollection how I got to Galileo. Oh wait! It was the reference to a zodiac sign :)

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  30. The mother of all and the father of all monkeys, in italicized scientific nomenclature, are each a Gorilla gorilla, fitting W S's seven - letter rule with giggly sound alike to seven - letter Galileo Galilei. 'n', well, fitting ... not much else.

    Martin Luther, of one generation afore GG and northern European neighbor, more or less, to Europe's south, Italy, is the blatherer.

    witchy, inquisitive, scientific = all clues of the Burning Times (a most terrible period wherein women for 300+ years, generations and generations and generations, in "civilized" (read that: NOT in barbaric other areas such as the so - called Dark Continent) woke up every day in fear of being named a witch from someone else suffering herself ... "the third degree" of torture = death ... after "the second degree" was administered against her) and what happened to folks such as G G ... IF ... the magical thinking of the men in long dresses did not prevail! See paragraph 3 of the Life section re G G in wikipedia.

    Blue

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  31. wow! That's a mouthful...too way out for my thinking

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  32. Cookieface, I'm glad that I'm not the only one who doesn't understand.

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  33. What's not to understand? I get Blue's thinking, at least once it is explained. It tells me that Blue has an abundance of clues in what she writes so we should pay attention.

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  34. Evidently Galileo Galilei was not
    easy because "We only received about
    300 correct entries."

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  35. The phone rang during today's so all I heard was "Indian" something and make three words of it. Only 300 entries? Wow, I thought there would be more. It was not difficult. Perhaps because it came out on a holiday weekend and people missed it.

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  36. Rearrange the 13 letters in Indian
    Wrestle to make three related words
    of five, four, and four letters.






    r

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